Monday, January 7, 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway: The Day the World Retreated by Jim Armstrong

Welcome to the CBRB, Jim! Thank you for being here! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am an applied mathematician by training, a tennis player by choice, and a Christian writer by God’s grace

When did you first discover that you loved writing?

In high school.  Every time I found inspiration from something, I wanted to write about it.  My first serious foray into the field was authoring and copyrighting two sequels to the original Star Wars movie.

Why do you write the type of books that you do?

I like to think of myself as a futurist.  I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and speculations about life in the future.  It’s easy to create situations in the distant future because the bar for believability is low and you are likely never to be held accountable for the prediction.

Speculating about the near future is much more difficult since the near future always arrives during our lifetime   It’s also more though-provoking and that’s the hook for me.  I want people to think about their lives and the course of society in the near future.  How can you change?  How can you influence society in a positive manner?  What is the role of God in your life?

I want to tell stories that entertain and encourage thought.  Entertainment, however, always fades.  Inspiration and hope transform lives.  That’s my ultimate desire - to transform lives.

What was your greatest obstacle in writing and how did you overcome it?

Time.  Writing is time consuming.  Writing well is very time consuming.  Writing with even a small glimmer of hope of having the story read by many people is extraordinarily time consuming.  Giving up that time means giving up income and family interactions that may never be recovered.

At some point, you must believe that if you are lead to tell a story, then the story will eventually make its way to the right people.  Just follow God’s leading and leave the details of life in His hands.  That’s how the story was written.

Has writing changed your life in any way?

Yes.  It’s given me insight into a completely new industry and a greater appreciation of what every professional author endures to bring a story to the world. 

The feedback I’ve received from the story has been very uplifting.  Money is the secular measure of a book’s success.  If that’s the case, then the first few months of marketing The Day The World Retreated has not placed me in any A-list of elite authors.  I’m probably not in the B- or C-list either 

When I hear the reaction from readers, however, I realize that the positive effect on someone’s life is far more rewarding than the effect on my wallet.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most?

Not so much a particular scripture as two stories.  The fundamental thesis of the book is that true hope comes through faith.  Faith and hope of a single individual can change the world.  The story of Joseph always intrigued me as someone who had no rational basis for hope, yet his faith ultimately propelled him to a position of world influence.

The Day The World Retreated is also full of subtle ironies.  The greatest irony in the Bible seems to be Solomon.  Imagine a person who by every worldly measure obtained more of anything than anyone in history.  Yet, in the end, the great irony was his conclusion about wealth, power, accumulation, and indulgence in worldly desires.

Vanity.  All is vanity.

Is there a book you’ve read that has been truly spectacular?

You’re probably not going to like this, but I don’t read much, mostly due to lack of time.  The last book I read that still leaves an impression decades later is Clive Cussler’s Sahara.  The movie did not come anywhere close to the book.

What’s the funniest/quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

Okay, this is the point where I change my name.  I’m rather absent-minded and often given to a very singular focus on the task at hand.  One day at work, I was reading a program printout while walking through the hallway on my way to the bathroom.  I was trying to identify a bug and focused so hard on a few lines of code that I walked right into the women’s bathroom 

Buy At Amazon
Please tell us about the featured book.

The Day The World Retreated is a futuristic thriller set in the year 2016.  With all the focus on the supposed end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012, I wanted to ask the more relevant question of ‘what happens when we all wake up on Dec. 22 and the world is continuing on its present course?’

This segues into where we place our hope for the future.  What is our inner happiness based upon?  Most people derive happiness from external circumstances such as people, places, wealth, and power.  The story centers around two men with strong ideas about what leads to happiness.  They ruthlessly pursue their desires with an unending passion, but only one receives his true desires and in a most unexpected manner.  This man’s experience illustrates that true hope comes through faith and true inner happiness is not derived from external circumstances.

The story is full of plot twists and ironies; expect only the unexpected.  The surprise ending is not revealed until the final paragraphs of the Epilogue.

From a style perspective, the story combines an intricate weave through time reminiscent of a Clive Cussler novel with a futuristic, though-provoking storyline popularized by Gene Roddenberry in the original Star Trek series.

As an aside, it’s not really a traditional sci-fi, so don’t let the sci-fi references sway you one way or the other.

Can you please give us the first page?

I’ll do much more than that.  You can have a special, extended three-chapter preview that includes the press release and synopsis.  That is NOT available online anywhere else! (Note: If this link doesn't work on your computer, try looking at it on an electronic device such as a phone or an iPod.)

http://bereanmemorialchurch.org/tdtwr_3.pdf

Where can readers learn more information about you?

Point your friendly, neighborhood browser to this URL  -  http://tdtwr.wordpress.com/ 


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GIVEAWAY!
  Mr. Armstrong is pleased to offer a special promotion to readers of CBRB, but you must act fast.  The first five people to purchase the Kindle version of The Day The World Retreated from Amazon will actually get paid to read the book!  (Don't fret if you don't have a Kindle; you can read Kindle books on your PC [For more info on how click Here].) This is a great time to order the book on Amazon since Mr. Armstrong recently added an alternate ending to the story exclusively for Amazon customers.

After ordering, please forward the proof of purchase from Amazon to Mr. Armstrong at vfx2112 [at] hotmail [dot] com.  Mr. Armstrong will reward the first five people to respond with either a $10 gift card or a direct deposit to your Paypal account.  Please provide either your mailing address or Paypal account in the email.

It's that simple!  Act quickly and not only will you be entertained and inspired but actually get paid to read!
Be sure to check the sidebar (under Winner Announcement) after the giveaway is over to see if you've won. The winner must contact me by going to my "Contact Me" page and sending me an email. 

For extra entries: 
~Be a follower +1 
~Add my button to your blog +1
 ~Post about this giveaway +2
~Be a subscriber +2
~Tweet +1
~Post on Facebook +1
(please leave a separate comment for each extra entry)

Giveaway ends on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at midnight (Eastern time). Winner will be chosen through Random.org,

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